Fearing foul play, farmers keep watchful eye on Punjab cops guarding Shubhkaran Singh’s body : The Tribune India

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Fearing foul play, farmers keep watchful eye on Punjab cops guarding Shubhkaran Singh’s body

Fearing foul play, farmers keep watchful eye on Punjab cops guarding Shubhkaran Singh’s body

A police vehicle outside the Rajindra Hospital in Patiala. Rajesh Sachar



Tribune News Service

Aman Sood

PATIALA, FEBRUARY 25

After a fierce standoff with Haryana cops, hundreds of farmers have been guarding the corpse of 22-year-old Shubhkaran Singh at Patiala’s Government Rajindra Hospital’s mortuary. Farmers feared that the Punjab Police could hand over the body to their Haryana counterparts or get a postmortem done. On the other hand, as many as 100 cops have been placed on a 24x7 vigil to guard the mortuary, as authorities feared the farmers could take away the body and stage a dharna at any of the borders near Haryana.

For the past three days, farmers have been keeping a hawk’s eye on all the gates of the hospital. “The police can do anything and we cannot take chances, hence our volunteers are here at the hospital to keep an eye on proceedings,” said a farm union leader.

One of the cops on duty informed, “We have been asked not to allow farmers inside the premises. Though things are peaceful, we have strict directions to immediately apprise seniors in case of any untoward incident near the mortuary where Shubhkaran’s body has been preserved.”

Sources said due to the talks with farmer unions ending in a stalemate, there was nothing much the Punjab Government or the police department could do. “We are clear on our stand. No FIR, no cremation; even if we have to wait for a month or more, we are ready. Our protest at the Shambhu and Khanauri barriers will continue peacefully. It is the Haryana Government that has turned the barriers into borders and not allowed peaceful protesters to reach Delhi. Later, they fired at us and killed Shubhkaran. Now, the Punjab government is reluctant to register an FIR,” a farmer leader said.

A senior IPS officer confirmed, “Only talks and discussion can resolve this issue, but the farmer unions are adamant without bothering about the laws. Without our jurisdiction, we cannot register an FIR. There are set rules and we have to follow them. There is nothing much we can do till the farmer union leaders discuss the same without any pre-set conditions.” Earlier today, Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa reached the hospital to meet injured farmers and demanded strict action against Haryana cops. “The CM Bhagwant Mann should stand by the farmers,” he said.

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#Government Rajindra Hospital Patiala #Punjab Police


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